Flag of Laos

Laos forum

Luang Prabang to Vientiane the long way round (ie avoiding Vang Viieng)

  • KirstyB

    Click here to learn more about KirstyB
    Joined Travelfish
    27th July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 147
    Total reviews: 7
    Places visited:
    At least 197

    So the plan was to travel between Luang Prabang and Vientiane without going via Vang Vieng. I was hoping to go via Sainyaburi and Pak Lai, mostly by boat but it seems this is no longer an option unless we're
    prepared to spend US$2,000 on a private charter for a 2 day trip! We're not. I've not been able to find anything particularly up to date on the road conditions - what I have read implies a dusty journey from hell.

    Has anyone does this journey recently and are the road conditions better now? More importantly is it worth doing the journey assuming its not possible by boat? River travel was to be the main point of the journey but if all we'll see is red dust caked roads and uninteresting towns then we'll think again.

    Thanks in advance.

    #1 Posted: 27/11/2011 - 23:50

  • Advertisement

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 724
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    try asking on lonely planet's thorntree forum SEA mainland branch - the very few i know who have travelled the Sayabouly-Pak Lay-Xanakham-VTE road post there & i don't see them posting on this forum. only did the LPB-Sayabouly section in Dec 2009, really dusty considering that it was a paved road. for some reason Sayabouly province seems to beat even Phongsaly in the 'dusty roads' contest.

    don't think Sayabouly town (town itself pretty dust-free) will interest the average tourist unless the elephant festival is being held there (some years in Hongsa or Pak Lay instead) or you're there during Hmong New Year celebrations (which i was). it's surrounded by many many Hmong villages but lack of tourists means it's hard for trekking/other sorts of tours to take off.

    have a look here: http://sayaboulytourism.com
    will check again but till now i don't really recall anyone talking about Phieng or Thongmixay.

    if travelling LPB to Saya town by public bus, my advice is to get to LPB southern bus station MINIMUM 1 hour before the morning bus is scheduled to depart. it's a 40+ seater that fills up quickly, & whoever & whatever can't squeeze on will start filling the afternoon bus, which can be full as early as 2-3 hours before departure.

    the plan was to travel between Luang Prabang and Vientiane without going via Vang Vieng

    if you could tell us the reason(s) for this, it'd be easier to suggest alternatives.

    #2 Posted: 28/11/2011 - 19:22

  • KirstyB

    Click here to learn more about KirstyB
    Joined Travelfish
    27th July, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 147
    Total reviews: 7
    Places visited:
    At least 197

    Thanks wanderingcat. We travelled via Vang Vieng a couple of years ago and explored that area then so don't really have a burning desire to go back and the alternative route looked interesting. We have a few days to fill between LP and Vientiane and are looking for ideas? We've travelled the routes between Houei Xay and LP, Luang Namtha province and via Dien Bien Phu via Muang Khua down the river (not all on the same trip!). Also been across to Plain of Jars. So looking for something else ...... A loop out of Vientiane could be an option but we prefer villages, local life and river journeys over waterfalls and caves ......

    Thanks and in the meantime I'll take a look at your links :-)

    #3 Posted: 28/11/2011 - 20:22

  • asia4life

    Joined Travelfish
    30th November, 2011
    Location Sweden
    Posts: 19
    Places visited:
    At least 111

    Posted from within Vietnam.

    Have you considered flying? Lao Airline is actually not as expensive as thought, since their prices are fixed, independent on when you book, and no extra charges for food, luggage etc. We were in Luang Namtha a month ago, and when calculating the different options (time is also money) flying was the best option, and it gave us much more days to spend comfortably in Vientiane , instead of on a dusty road. And the outside view from the plane was not so bad either...

    I visited Vientiane first time 2004 or 2005 and coming back last month and see the improvments was great. Only mistake we did, was not to have enough days, Vientiane is so beautyful and easy going, specially with the new public park along Mekong with outdoors gym (by the way a great place to meet local people when visiting in the early mornings)

    #4 Posted: 8/12/2011 - 00:32

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Hanoi to Vientiane via Luang Prabang and Vang Veing ... By southafrican on 31 Oct 2008 0 2826 31 Oct 2008
Luang Prabang to Vientiane- The truth about Vang Vieng ... By misstahlia on 7 Jun 2013 9 4864 10 Jun 2013
Transport - Vientiane / Vang Vieng / Luang Prabang ... By ruthmoore on 18 Nov 2007 5 13145 26 Aug 2010
Landslide Delaying Bus Travel Vientiane/Vang Vieng - Luang Prabang ... By wanderingcat on 23 Aug 2011 3 3118 5 Sep 2011
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng ... By NEILEIO on 29 Aug 2008 2 5131 1 Sep 2008
Place between Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang ... By Lars on 11 Oct 2007 5 5013 17 Oct 2007
Night Bus from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang ... By aik_yong2002 on 16 Jul 2012 3 4519 23 Jul 2012
Hire a driver luang prabang to vang vieng ... By 21days on 17 Dec 2009 0 4746 17 Dec 2009
Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang - Minivan Hire ... By dclayw on 23 Jul 2009 7 6390 24 Jul 2009
Bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng with 2 kids - need advice ... By alainj on 2 Jul 2010 1 4489 2 Jul 2010